Monthly Archives: March 2012

PF Confession: My Teenager Jobs

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When I saw Young and Thrifty’s post on her worst jobs held as a teenager, I couldn’t help by smile and think back to own horror stories learning experiences.

When I turned 16, I desperately wanted to work part-time to supplement my meager $5 a week allowance.  I wanted to make extra money for 2 reasons: (i) to save for my education (ii) to buy clothes.  My parents were adamant and refused to let me take on a part-time job during the school year for fear it would interfere with my studies; however, they were open to me working during the summer break.

During the summer of grade 11, I started my first job ever.

1. Pantry Staff

I worked at a summer camp in Orillia as a “pantry staff”.  We stayed in the (nasty) cabins onsite and were responsible for all the cleaning/preparation of the dining hall and serving meals for the campers.  This included preparing the dining area (setting tables, chairs, utensils), cleaning of dining hall, cleaning of dishes – for all meals.

The work week was 6 days a week, but since Orillia is a 3-hour drive from Toronto (aka out in the middle of nowhere to a city girl, like myself), we had to accumulate our “days off”, thus most of the staff worked 7 days a week.  The days were long, started around 6:30 – 7:00am in the morning with a very short break between meals (usually 30min), and ending between 11:00pm and midnight.

I was exhausted every day.  The last straw was when my acne flared right back up, due to all the stress and lack of sleep.  And I lasted about 2 weeks before I quit.

There was a “completion bonus” of about $2,000 in my contract.  Which is the sneakiest thing ever – if you ever see something like that in a contract – RUN!  When I told the director I was quitting, he reminded me of the completion bonus and told me that I could expect a cheque for no more than about $60 if I decided to leave.  I left anyway, and I got a cheque for $300 a couple weeks later.

Worst job ever.

2. Donut maker

After my failed attempt at my first summer job, I sent out my application everywhere.  I was hopeful – I now had some “experience” even if it was only 2 weeks.

I got a job at a local amusement park making donuts.

It paid minimum wage, but I was over the moon.  I only had to work 6 to 8 hour shifts and I easily made way more money while working less than I had at my previous job!

Bonus: I got a free season’s pass to the amusement park.

3. McDonald’s

I worked as a cashier full-time during the summer and then convinced my parents to let me work part-time during the school year if I kept my grades up.

Even though many people came out of McDonald’s with horror stories, I come out of my 1 year stint relatively unscathed.  The work schedule was extremely flexible, and I mostly worked on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays.   Often times, I’d work 6:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday and Sundays, and still had lots of time to homework/group projects, while still making about $200 per pay cheque during the school year.

Bonus: The McDonald’s I worked at was out in the middle of nowhere, and so I wasn’t able to blow my paycheques at the mall.

4. Ride Operator

During my last summer before entering university, I decided the leave the glamorous world of the fast food industry and move onto amusement park rides.  The ride operator position paid more than minimum wage (what I was getting in the fast food industry), and I was rolling in the dough making $9 an hour in the summer of 2003.

Turns out that the summer of 2003 was when the tourism industry was really slow – it was the SARS scare, and instead of having 5 – 7 shifts a week, I was only getting about 3 – 4.  But, I had a great summer hanging out in the sun, making new friends, and enjoying my season pass on my days off with my friends.

5. Math & Science Tutor

Since math was a strong suit of mine, my high school teachers encouraged me to tutor fellow classmates and lower grade students.

I learned that a lot of people who don’t “get” math, are simply missing a lot of fundamentals, but expect a “quick fix” from a tutor.  I usually go over class notes and examples with my students, and try to take them through the steps, at a slower pace.  We’d also go over assignments or past tests and I’d go over where and how they lost marks, and how to improve their future scores.

This was my most lucrative gig at $15 – $20 per hour cash.  But I also only worked 1 to 2 hours at a time.

Summary

There you have it!  All the jobs I held as a teenager.

Growing in a poor family, I always had a fear that I would not be able to afford attending university, which was the main motivation for me to work.  Even though these jobs aren’t super high paying, I manager to scrounge together about $8,000 in the 3 years I worked prior to entering university.

I think it’s really important to work part-time, or know (some) hardship, so one can truly appreciate the value of a dollar.  And I hope it’s a lesson I am able to pass on to my kids someday.

Readers, what kind of jobs did you hold during your teenage years and what did you learn?  What was your motivation for working at a young age?

Cheers,

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14 Comments

Filed under PF Confession

Link Love (powered by “House of Lies”)

This week has absolutely flown by, and aside from getting a few posts up, I haven’t even begun responding to comments.  I apologize for my tardiness in replying.

Between studying for my professional licensing exam next month, work and volleyball, I don’t know where my time has gone.

I’ve still been keeping up with blogs on my reader, though, may not have been commenting very much.  Here are some of my favourite reads in the past week or so.

Life and Money

Fashion and Beauty

New Blogs

I love discovering new blogs, and these are some I’ve found the last couple of weeks.  Head on over to send them some love, k?

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Cheers,

3 Comments

Filed under Link Love

Work “Family” is not Family

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As a fresh grad out of school, I thought that my workplace would be like my extended family. When new peolpe join our team, we say, “Welcome to Company XYZ family.” I had visions, as a fresh grad, of finding a great company to work for, laughing with my co-workers while working late to meet deadlines, and staying with the company for a long time.

In my 4 years working in the real world, I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share. My once wide eyed naive self is a little more wise, and sadly, a little more jaded. I’ve seen former co-workers let go and new co-workers take their place. I’ve seen people stay with the company for 25+ years and I’ve seen some people who move on within a year or two.

Co-workers are Important… but not family.

My family is my mom, dad and my 2 sisters. My parents love me and my sisters unconditionally, they always want the best for me and my sisters, even if it means sacrificing things for themselves. My sisters and I are always honest with one another – even if it means saying things one may not want to hear. We look out for one another, and support one another – both morally, and at times, financially.

Does this kind of support and relationship sound like something I would expect at a workplace? Of course not. That would be unrealistic.

My co-workers are people who I work with – day in and day out. It is important that we get along, and that we work together on a united front on our projects, but I would never expect them to put my needs before the theirs or the company’s.

The Workplace is a Business

It’s important to remember why we are at our workplace in the first place.

To state the obvious… We have been hired to fulfill a certain role, complete a certain job or tasks, and we are being compensated for our time and effort in the form of a salary/bonus/shares, etc. Generally, we are compensated because we bring some value to the team, which can cover our own salary, and then some (i.e., benefits, sick leave, vacation, other people’s salary).

At the end of the day, in order for the company to stay in business, it must be generating more money than it is paying out. So, as an employee, you must be bringing in more revenue that your company is paying you. Makes sense, right?

But what about the “family” part?

Good for Morale

I think that when a company promotes their “Company XYZ Family”, it is mostly good for morale. People like feeling that they belong somewhere, and they like to know that they are taken care of and supported by (similar to how we are with our own families).  It makes us feel good.

When people feel good, they usually have more incentive to work harder, thus generating more income for the company. This can be a win-win situation, until there is an imbalance in the system.

Perhaps, there is no work coming in, or perhaps John Doe isn’t able to bring in as much business as he once did. Whatever it may be, the revenue John was bringing may no longer be sufficient.

So what happens now?

Business is Business

Although, I haven’t experienced it, yet (“knocks on wood”), I have had co-workers and friends, describe to me how they were let go. Suffice to say, it was all business. In fact, some weren’t even given a reason – just told that it was their last day, and they could either pack their things that day, or come back another day, after hours, escorted.

At the end of the day, the company needs to look out for their shareholders’ best interest.

Conclusion

Co-workers, bosses, and executives are a very important part of the work environment, but I still feel that the “family” card is played only when it is in favour of what works out best for the company. I often time see employees bend over backwards for a company. However, if the tables were turned, it’s less likely that a company would bend over backwards to help out one of their employees (nor is it usually expected).

Readers, what are your thoughts on work “family”? Do you think the term “family” is being used for mural, or do you think companies really mean it? Perhaps, I might be a little jaded in my perspective.

Cheers,

11 Comments

Filed under Personal

Nice Ring!…. I think

With all the excitement of engagements and weddings in the air of my fellow bloggers and my friends/family, I have a confession to make.  I don’t really understand the hype behind the diamond engagement ring.  I mean, sure they look nice… but 3 months of salary worth “nice”?  *shrugs*

Polite Ring Admiration

From my experience, when co-workers/friends/other girls get engaged, they come into the office/lunch/wherever, all giddy and hold out their hand.  Everyone All the women tend to crowd around and “oooh and aaaah” over the ring, they tell the future bride her ring is beautiful.

Me?  Well, I do that, too.  But more out of social etiquette, since I have no idea what the difference is between different engagement rings.  They all kinda look the same to me.  Like this.

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I mean, I would do the same thing when someone shows me a picture of their ultra sound.  I would  probably doing a bit of “ooohing” and “aaahing” and tell the expectant mother her baby is so cute – when really, all I see is a weird blob on the snap shot.  It’s not that I’m not happy for the expectant mother – I am!  I just don’t see anything on the photograph!

The same goes for the ring.  I am happy for the couple – but I don’t see the big deal about it.  But I feel that it is polite to outwardly admire it.

But I Like Rings!

Before you think that I am a ring nazi, I want to make it clear that I like rings!  I think these beautiful rings can complete any outfit.

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Images via here, here and here.

I love how a statement ring can complete or add a fun twist to an outfit.  And I think that a wedding band can be a beautiful and elegant piece of jewelry that is a symbol of a couple’s commitment to one another.  I think Miss Minimalist’s wedding ring is amazing, and her attitude (and her ring!) are more in line with my ideal wedding band/engagement ring and price tag.

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What are your thoughts on engagement rings or wedding rings?  Do you admire them rings?

Cheers,

23 Comments

Filed under Fashion

Thoughts on the Amended Canadian Pension Plan

Please note that I am not a trained accountant or tax professional, just a regular gal trying to navigate the world of personal finance, like yourself. Below is my understanding of the amendments to the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), and should be taken with grain of salt. Please consult a third party professional and complete your own research before you make any financial decisions.

Background

Early retirement has been something my dad and I have openly discussed for the past few years. Both my parents work in the automotive industry. It’s a very labour intensive work, being on your feet all day and operating (often times) heavy machinery. It’s a job that is more and more difficult to do as one ages.

My dad and I have been crunching the numbers, and figuring out when he could retire, and of course, how much CPP “income” he would get.

For those who don’t know, a portion of one’s paycheque goes towards “CPP” and that amount is not taxable, and cannot be withdrawn until retirement. This amount was capped at $2,217.60 in 2011. After retirement, one’s CPP monthly payments are based on what one contributed during their working years.

Amendments to the CPP

This is all information available on the internet at the Service Canada website. Here is the link I found helpful for changes to the CPP.

In a nutshell:

The CPP retirement pension amount will increase by a larger percentage if retirement is taken after age 65, but it will also decrease by a larger percentage if retirement is taken before age 65.

Since my dad is not planning on working after age 65, we only focused on how much of a decrease in his CPP amount he will have to take.

From 2012 to 2016, the Government will gradually change this early pension reduction from 0.5% to 0.6% per month. This means that, by 2016, if you start receiving your CPP pension at the age of 60, your pension amount will be 36% less than it would have been if you had taken it at 65.

What this means:

The earlier you retire, the more you are “dinged”. So, someone who retires at age 60 will be “dinged” 36% (0.60% per month x 12 months x 5 years), whereas if you retire a year later at age 61, you will be “dinged” 27% (0.58% per month x 12 months x 4 years), and so on.

Present Value Analysis

I love seeing charts, so I decided to plot a chart of how much money in total my dad would get at age 70, 75 and 80, if he were to retire at 62, 63, 64 or 65.

This is my first run at it, assuming his maximum CPP monthly payment was $700 or $8,400 a year.

Since the $700 a month is “future” payment, I brought all future value payments back to present value, and assumed an interest rate of 3%.

According to this chart, at age 70, even though his annual payments are lower, because my dad would have been collecting payments for longer, he comes out ahead (total payment) from taking early retirement at age 62 than waiting until age 65.

Even at age 75, he would still come out ahead if he had taken early retirement at age 62 than waiting until age 65.

And at age 80, he still almost breaks even if he were to take early retirement!

Conclusion

One of the biggest reasons I hear from relatives and co-workers who don’t want to take early retirement is that they don’t want to be penalized with lower CPP payments.

Of course, this is true, but as the above analysis shows, one may not be penalized as much as one would think. Don’t get me wrong, a 36% reduction in your monthly payments is a big deal, but one must also factor in that the total amount can be comparable, since the payout period is longer.

There are many factors to consider for early retirement and CPP payments is only one of many. So, always consult with your financial planning professional before making any decision.

Have you thought of early retirement, or early retirement for your family members? What are your thoughts on the amended CPP?

Cheers,

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On Packing Light(er)

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Some Background

I used to be a really heavy packer.  When I moved abroad to Southeast Asia for an exchange, I brought with me 2 huge 1960’s style full of … stuff.  Granted, I was going for 4 months, but that was definitely the days prior to the birth of minimalist Frugirl.

Traveling around in Asia with my friends, who were much more minimalistic than myself, I learned to pack only what was really important.  Some of my “high points” was a 3 week trip across Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in just a school backpack, and also a 5-week trip across Egypt with by girl friends with a 50L pack.

Some Inspiration

Some great inspiration from the blogosphere are the very fashionable ladies at Extra Petite and Fabulously Broke.  They have a lot of great tips and posts on how one can pack lightly while staying stylish, so I encourage you to check them out, before packing for your next trip!

4-days, 3-nights Boston Trip

This weekend, BF and I are taking a last-minute trip to one of my favourite cities in the world – Boston.

I just finished packing my bags last night, and snapped a few pictures to share with you my packing experience. I tried to pack light and still keep my outfits fun and make-up. 🙂

BF will be going for a quasi-business trip, and we are making a mini-vacation out of it.  So most of my clothes are casual wear for comfort and (some) warmth.

Everything fits into my “Longchamp” look-alike brown (Roots – $35) gym bag and I will also be bringing along an over the shoulder purse.

What I Packed – Clothes

This is what I am bringing with me, and that indistinguishable pile at the back is what I will be wearing during the flight and our first day there.   The clothes that are rolled up will be packed and this includes:

  • 1 pair of  dark rinse skinny jeans
  • 2 cardigans
  • 3 short sleeve t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeve t-shirts
  • 2 skinny belts
  • 1 scarf (not shown)
  • 1 pair of ankle boots
  • 1 pair of knee high flat boots (not shown)
  • 4 sets of under garments and socks (not shown)
  • 1 sleeping shirt
  • 1 pair of yoga pants
  • cute hat (not shown)

What I Packed – Toiletries and Make-up

I got this wonderful make-up back just this weekend (for only $5!), and I am really happy with it.

For some reason, it’s really hard for me to find a make-up bag that can hold all my toiletries and my make-up.  The ones that I have are either too big, or too small, and usually not enough compartments to keep everything organized.

I thought it would also be a great time to test out the Marcelle BB Cream and Joe Fresh cheek tint to save some space.  I left my usual primer, tinted moisturizer, blotting powder, blush  and large brushes at home.

Here’s what’s in my make-up bag:

  • Small bottles of: cleanser, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, acne medication, toothpaste, contact lens solution, and make-up remover
  • Marcelle BB cream, 3 eye shadows, 1 cheek tint, 3 lip glosses, 2 lip sticks,  1 brow palette, 1 liquid liner, 3 pencil liners.
  • Tools: 3 eye shadow brushes, 9 cotton pads, foldable brush, toothbrush.

Miscellaneous

I brought along another foldable (fake Longchamp by Chatelaine) bag for shopping :).  You can see it peaking from behind my make-up bag.   Most of the rest of the items are things I’d usually have in my purse anyway:

  • Sunglasses
  • Leather gloves
  • Ear muffs
  • Passport
  • Wallet
  • Small digital camera
  • iPod Touch and charger
  • More lipglosses 🙂
  • Eye drops
  • Contact lens and glasses case

Since we were traveling to the US, we didn’t convert any currency, and just used our credit cards everywhere.  I did take out $60 cash from a bank machine –  TD has machines there you can use – but we didn’t really need the cash.

Conclusion

Here’s everything all packed away.

I really enjoy not checking any bags, and I feel kinda like a celebrity breezing through with my minimal baggage, while everyone else waits for their bags to be dropped off 🙂

I still brought a little too much – I could have re-worn some shirts, I really didn’t need two pair of shoes, and I definitely could have eased up on the lip sticks ;), but I’m on vacation and wearing lipstick is fun!

Stay tuned for What I Bought in Boston! 🙂  Any bets on if I blew my $250 budget?

Readers, how do you like to pack for vacation?

Cheers,

15 Comments

Filed under Fashion, Travel

2012 Portfolio Re-balance Part 2: Forgetting about Cash

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One of my February goals was to re-balance my portfolio.  If you haven’t read Part 1, you can catch up here.

Re-balancing my Portfolio – Take 1

I was really happy with myself after this re-balance and I was ready to make the transfers, after March 1st, since I wasn’t sure if moving out my funds would affect my contributions for my 2011 taxes.  I was happily chatting away with BF, feeling pretty darn good about myself and my re-balances portfolio until…

What about Cash??

BF pointed (in the kindest and most gentlest way), that I hadn’t taken into account cash in my portfolio. Since I kept a sizable amount of cash on-hand, I realized that by not counting my cash, my portfolio was actually a lot more conservative than it seemed.

I decided not to include my Emergency Fund Savings ($10,000) and my Travel Fund ($1,200) since I wanted to keep that cash on hand for anything that comes up.  I am also debating about what to do with my General Savings Fund ($15,000) – for now, I have left it out of my portfolio calculation.

Re-balance – Take 2

I calculated my actual asset allocation, including my cash. Sure enough, it was a lot more conservative than I had wanted it to be.  From the chart above, I actually have 50% of my portfolio in cash and bonds.  Waaay too conservative for my liking.

So, I tweaked my asset allocation to be 30% of bonds & cash, and 70% stocks.  Now, it looks a lot better.

Conclusion

This was a great exercise and a huge wake-up call that money sitting in my checking account is idle money that could otherwise be earning interest, or could be invested in something.  It was also a great reminder that I need to continuously tally up my $0 budget at the end of the month and put the “extra” money (if any) into something – TFSA or Travel Fund, or whatever, so that I know my money is working for me.

Readers, how much cash do you like to keep in your portfolio?  Do you account for cash as part of your portfolio?

Cheers,

4 Comments

Filed under Fashion

2012 Portfolio Re-balance Part 1: Where and Why

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One of my February goals was to re-balance my investment portfolio – mainly my RRSP and TFSA. I currently don’t have investment outside of these two vehicles. I have RRSP mutual funds and index funds in my ING account, my Manulife account and my TFSA is with TD Canada Trust. I want to have as few accounts as possible, and pay the least amount of fees.

Background on TD Canada Trust E-Series

I want to move most of my RRSP into my TD Canada Trust e-series self directed RRSP. The e-series are various index funds, so these funds are NOT actively managed, and they have one of the lowest MERs on the market. For instance, a Canadian index fund has an MER of 0.3% and the global index fund has an MER of 0.5%.

Getting a TD Canada Trust e-series account set up is like pulling teeth, but worth the effort for the low fee’s, IMHO. For come great how-to’s, check out step-by-step instructions from Krystal and Young and Thrifty, I followed their instructions, and 3 weeks and a rejected copy of void cheque (you must use an original cheque – the ING void cheques do not work), I finally got a confirmation from TD my e-series account was up and running. Hallelujah!

Where and Why – ING

I have some of my RRSPs in ING Streetwise account which I started about 3 years ago when I first started getting into Personal Finance. It was easy and it was quick.

Three years later, my account sits at almost $17,000! 🙂 However, even though ING Streetwise Mutual funds are mostly index funds – the only difference is in their asset allocations in bonds vs market indexes – they charge a 1% MER (high for a non-managed account).

I want to move out all my funds in my ING Streetwise RRSP Mutual funds into TD e-series self-directed RRSPs.

Where and Why – Manulife

I have most of my RRSP mutual funds with Manulife. My work has an employer RRSP matching program through Manulife. Since I can automatically contribute to my RRSP from my paycheque – I get the tax benefit right away, as I was too lazy to fill out the required form to lower my taxes. My account currently sits just above $23,000.

The lowest index fund MER charged my Manulife through the work plan is 0.7%, whereas I can get a similar e-series index fund for about 0.3 – 0.5% (half the fees!!). The only trick is that I must keep my employer match and the money I contributed to get the match, with Manulife for 10 years. In order to keep my employer match, I must wait 10 years, before I can take it out.

Frugirl’s Plan

Move the entirety of my ING Streetwise RRSP into my TD Canada Trust e-series self directly RRSP, and keep only the minimum in my Manulife account and transferring the remaining to TD Canada Trust e-series self directly RRSP.

In order to receive my tax benefits right away (I’d rather not wait for a return every year), then I need to fill out the required forms and send them in. I have this form printed out, I just need to set up my automatic contribution with TD Canada e-series so I have the necessary proof I need for the reduction in taxes.

Re-balancing my Portfolio with TD e-series funds

I had about $33,000 to re-balance from my ING and Manulife account into my TD e-series.

This was my first stab at re-balancing my portfolio. Since I am approaching 30, I decided to go with a slightly more conservative asset allocation: 30% bond and 70% stocks.

Do you see something that is missing? If you don’t see it, stay tuned for 2012 Portfolio Re-balance Part 2.

Hint: See my networth break down here
Cheers,

6 Comments

Filed under Finance

PF Confession: I Bought 10 Pairs of Shoes

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Blogs – I ❤ thee

I love reading blogs.  It’s so much fun to read, and I learn so much.

Before reading fashion blogs, I was never really interested in online shopping.  I am the type of girl who likes to try things on before I make the commitment, and unfortunately, online shopping doesn’t let me do that.  Until…

I realized that many bloggers buy things online – from sales, stacking coupon codes, etc, and then they try on the items in the comfort of their own home, and they can return the items if they don’t fit/like it.

Can I get a Hallelujah? 🙂

Shopping Online

I felt like I got a free pass with shopping online, whenever I had the option of getting a full refund for whatever it is I am buying.  It took the guess work out of ordering something online, and truly made the shopping process more enjoyable for me.

See a good sale and hate to rummage through piles of discarded clothes, only to find the only shirt in your size is ripped?  Why not shop online and have access to the store’s entire warehouse inventory?

Return Policies

In my small venture into the online shopping world, it is very important to understand the return policies of the stores you are shopping at.  Some stores have final sales on clearance/sale items, or perhaps you can only return for a store credit, as opposed to a full refund.

Make sure you read carefully and understand the return policy before checking out!

My 10 Pairs of Shoes

A couple weeks ago when I saw Red Flag Deals tweet an awesome shoe sale at MySpringShoes.com, I couldn’t help but take a peak.  They still had quite a selection left of shoes marked at 50 – 70% off regular price, with a coupon code for an additional 15% off.  Some of the shoes I got came to under $10 after taxes!!

I quickly checked Spring’s return policy, and it was exactly what I hoped for.  Full refund in the original form of payment for ALL items, including clearance items.  A few clicks, and $225 later, 10 pairs of shoes were enroute to me.

Of course, I didn’t keep all 10 pairs (what?  Did you think I was crazy?!).  I ended up keeping 2 pairs which I really liked.   These are the two I kept.  Cute, eh?  And the best part, they cost ~$65 total 🙂

Crazy?

Maybe buying 10 pairs of shoes was crazy of me.  I know that when BF saw my backseat full of shoe boxes, he thought I might have gone insane but I reassured him that I had a plan!

My plan also included parking at the mall entrance closest to the Spring shoe store, and him helping me carry back the 8 boxes of shoes to be returned. 😉

Conclusion

Next time, I may be more selective in ordering, since it was a pain to carry all the shoes back to the store.  But I did score a great deal on 2 pairs of shoes!

Readers, do you shop online?  And have you bought a lot of things, only to try them on and return the ones you don’t want?

Cheers,

23 Comments

Filed under Fashion, Finance, PF Confession

Link Love (powered by Sunday To-Do List)

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

After being lazy and playing Bejeweled until I reached a new high score, I have finally gotten out of my pajamas and eaten breakfast.  Now, I am ready to face my Sunday and tackle my To-Do List.  I don’t have a lot of big things for this Sunday, just a lot of little things – but little things that would make my life so much easier during the week.

Since, I seem to be more accountable when I write things on my blog, I figured I’d give this a try.

Frugirl’s Sunday To-Do List (Updated at 9:30pm)

  • Put away Laundry – I’ve had a pile of clean laundry that needs to be put away since last weekend.
  • Make Chicken Soup – I roasted an entire chicken on Friday and am really craving some hot, comfort food.
  • Clean Make-Brushes – Definitely need to give those suckers a good wash.
  • Closet clean out – Go through my closet and pick out items I haven’t worn/touched and put aside.
  • Complete Taxes – I found a few more donation receipts, so I need to double check if any thing has changed.
    Not a huge change, I will just include it in my electronic file.  I had another tax receipt for a $25 donation.
  • Tidy up Bathroom – Enough said.
  • Make Dumplings – I like to make a big batch on a weekend and freeze them. A batch usually lasts me about a month or two.
    Didn’t get to this.  Oh, well.
  • Pack for Boston – I just bought a really awesome make-up/toiletries bag (only $4.47!!), and I can’t wait to use it.
    Didn’t get to this either.  But I have all week, so I can do this tmr or Tuesday.
  • Pick up Pantry – Canadian Tire has a good sale ($50), and I desperately need more storage space.
  • Tidy up living area and kitchen – Enough said.  It’s getting a little messy.
  • Finish up post on Re-balancing my Portfolio.  Scheduled for next week! 🙂
    Not quite done.  Almost.  Will finish it up tmr.

Money

  • Bridget gives us a peek into her closet.  I am a bit embarrassed that I have a much bigger closet and can’t seem to figure out what to wear some days.  Time to do that clean out! 🙂
  • I’m over Product Parties by Andrea at So Over Debt.  I’ve been invited to a few of these in the last months, and I feel the same way.  I feel a post coming up about this!
  • Gail talks about Women’s Unique Challenges, as March 8th is International Women’s Day. Even though I am not at the point in my life where I am having a family, I see the women around me struggle doing the balancing act, and it’s kinda scary.
  • Young and Thrifty talks about Critical Illness Insurance and Why you Need it.  This is something that I had not previously thought about, but Y&T brings up some good points that I need to give some thought.

Fashion and Beauty

Life

  • Sandy from Yes, I am Cheap tells the US government to stay out of her uterus.  Being a Canadian, I am always taken aback when I hear about how Americans argue and debate birth control and abortion.  Watching that video, I felt like I was stuck in the 1950’s.
  • Eemusing shares her thoughts on the book, Hymn of a Tiger Mom.  Growing up in my household, we had similar rules.  At the end of the day, a parent tries to do what is best for their child in the way they know how.
  • Feather Factor has an interview with HR Director, Tiffany.  Tiffany answers a readers’ questions on resume, job searching, wage equality and more. I really enjoy FF’s interviews, there is such a variety, ranging from designer collections to posts like this one!

Hope everyone has a good weekend :).  I will check back tonight and update my to-do list – wish me luck!

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